Warehouse district gets new name, plan for future

ECU’s millennial campus in Greenville’s former warehouse district has a new name and master plan.

Designated Intersect East, the property covers 19 acres between Main Campus and Dickinson Avenue, including the historic Export Leaf Tobacco building, the American Tobacco Co. storage warehouse No. 2 and the Prichard-Hughes Warehouse.

The eight-year master plan includes developing or repurposing 14 buildings and an investment by Elliot Sidewalk Communities of more than $150 million. The project is expected to create up to 1,500 jobs, a financial impact exceeding $141 million annually and $3 million in annual property tax revenues.

An artist’s rendering of the 19-acre Intersect East project.

Highlights include building a research and innovation hub beside 10th Street; keeping the historic water tower and smokestack; converting an abandoned railroad bed into a hiking-biking trail; and developing residential, office and parking space.

“(Intersect East) is a place where business and science will merge,” said Tim Elliott, managing member at ESC. “(A place) where innovation will flourish … you could say this is an Olympic training center for business growth where university research and corporate research and development meet, train and win.”

Phase one focuses on Intersect East’s three historic properties. The buildings, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will be renovated and open for business tenants looking to collaborate with the university. The renovation will include 200,000 square feet of office space with an initial investment of $30 million. Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2021 with completion by fall 2022.

“We had an asset, a great location of tremendous value,” said Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson. “We had something to provide, but we’re not professional developers. With (ESC’s assistance), we really do know what to do with it now.”

The project will have four phases with an expected completion date of 2027. The development will have mixed-use space including apartments, townhomes and restaurant space.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors approved the development deal between ECU and ESC in July. As part of the deal, ESC will control the property for 99 years and pay the appraised value of the buildings over the life of the deed.

ESC developed The Lofts at Dickinson in Greenville with partner Hallmark Campus Communities. The company has also partnered with the city of High Point and the city of Rock Hill, South Carolina, for projects related to universities in those cities.

More information is at intersecteast.com.